The discovery phase for me was quite humbling. Any unwillingness to consider new ideas is often the result of the brain’s natural dislike for vagueness which is why my mission is to keep everything as clear and simple as possible.
“… Dressage is a thinking sport, riding is about strategy. Ask yourself what is the most valuable aid when riding? The answer is not your legs, or your contact, or your seat, it is your brain and how quickly you are able to process the huge amount of information you need to ride and perform dressage and indeed work your body at the same time. You have to be quick and sharp. In a dressage test there are a succession of movements, one after the other, all requiring different thought processes, aids, body movements in which the aim is to seem to do as little as possible.”
“… Have you ever ridden a problem, time and time again and thought ‘he always goes off the circle at that point’ or ‘whenever I ride past that point he loses rhythm’ or ‘he always drops his shoulder on that corner’. If the answer is yes (and it was for me) then do something about it. I truly hope I am the only one who, despite knowing the Henry Ford quote “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got” I would go round focussed on something else (that’s my excuse) and wonder why I keep getting the same result, until Mark would say in a fairly exasperated manner, ‘Change something. You know that your horse is going to baulk at that corner, so next time round prepare for it, do a little shoulder-fore, more inside leg, half-halt, just do something to, at least try, and solve the problem! OK?’ When someone points out something obvious like that it’s hard not to feel a little foolish, isn’t it? The Henry Ford quote is so very wise and well worth remembering when you have trudged the same path for many years and feel a lack of achievement, it may be that it’s time to try a different approach; to experiment and explore.”
Patricia – The Dressage Tipster